May 14: TODAY in Irish History:
** ** **
Snippets of Irish History by Conor Cunneen IrishmanSpeaks
Conor is a Chicago based Motivational Humorous Business Speaker, Author and History buff.
WATCH: A Short History of Ireland
1755: Irish Pickpocket and Australian High Constable George Barrington
One of the more interesting characters in Irish history, George Barrington is born in Maynooth, Co. Kildare. Barrington spent much of his early years as a relatively successful (and famous) pickpocket, on one occasion picking the pocket of the Russian Count Orlov of a snuff-box, said to be worth £30,000. For some reason, Orlov did not press charges.
Barrington was eventually convicted and deported to Australia where after a period he was granted full freedom, eventually becoming High Constable of Parramatta, a suburb of Sydney. Barrington authored A Voyage to Botany Bay; The History of New South Wales ; The History of New Holland.
READ: George Barrington bio
1883: Execution of Joe Brady for murder of Lord Cavendish
Brady was one of the Invincibles – a Fenian splinter group – that murdered the Chief Secretary of Ireland on his first day in the country. Four others were executed for the murders.
FROM: The Ballad of James Brady
Well it happened in the Phoenix Park all in a summer’s day
Lord Cavendish and Burke came out for to see the polo play
James Carey gave the signal and his handkerchief he waved
Then he gave the information against our Fenian blades
It was in Kilmainham Prison the Invicibles were hung
Mrs Kelly she stood there in mourning all for her darling son
She threw back her shawl and she says to all though he fills a lime pit grave
My son was no informer and he died a Fenian blade
Brady by all accounts was a mountain of a man. The Times wrote after his execution. “He was brought up as a stonemason of herculean strength, his occupation developing the muscular power of his arms, which told with such terrible effect when he drove the knives into the bodies of” Lord Cavendish and his secretary T. H. Burke
READ: Biography of Joe Brady
1893: Air Force Ace George McElroy
Birth of George McElroy in Dublin. He would go on to be one of the most successful and decorated pilots of World War I.
Initially McElroy fought in the infantry, fighting with the Royal Irish Regiment at Ypres where he was seriously injured by mustard gas. Recuperating in Dublin at the time of the 1916 Easter Rising, McElroy Refused to fire on fellow Irishman, an action for which he received surprisingly little admonishment.
Some months later, he joined the Royal Flying Corps (later Royal Air Force) and became an immensely accomplished fighter. He was credited with 47 aerial victories which makes him the most successful Irish fighter pilot of the war. He was killed by ground fire in July 1918. He is buried in at the Laventie Military Cemetery in northern France.
McElroy’s awards include: Military Cross and Distinguished Flying Cross.
1921: War of Independence
A brutal day in the Irish War of Independence for the RIC (Royal Irish Constabulary). In County Cork, three officers are killed in Midleton, three in Cork City and one in Innishannon. More than fifty RIC officers would be killed by the IRA during the month of May.
1974: Northern Ireland Votes for Power Sharing
Northern Ireland Assembly passes a resolution approving power sharing of Unionists and Nationalists by 44 votes to 28 in line with the Sunningdale Agreement. This flew in the face of what appeared to be the electorate’s decision. In the February 28 general election, 11 of the 12 seats in Northern Ireland were won by loyalist candidates opposed to Sunningdale. The Assembly vote would signal the beginning of the end of power sharing. The self styled Ulster Workers Council called a general strike which slowly but surely strangled the Northern Irish economy.
Want to learn more about Ireland? See these images and more in the acclaimed For the Love of Being Irish
This history is written by Irish author, business keynote speaker and award winning humorist IrishmanSpeaks – Conor Cunneen. If you spot any inaccuracies or wish to make a comment, please don’t hesitate to contact us via the comment button.
Visit Conor’s YouTube channel IrishmanSpeaks to Laugh and Learn.
Tags: Best Irish Gift, Creative Irish Gift, Unique Irish Gifts, Irish Books, Irish Authors, Today in Irish History TODAY IN IRISH HISTORY (published by IrishmanSpeaks)